Title Page

Dublin Core

Title

Title Page

Description

In 1823, at a small school in western Vermont, Frances Alsop Henshaw, the 14-year-old daughter of a prosperous merchant, produced a remarkable cartographic and textual artifact.

Henshaw’s “Book of Penmanship Executed at the Middlebury Female Academy” is a slim volume, later bound in marble boards, containing -- in addition to the expected, set copy-texts of a practice-book -- a series of hand-drawn, delicately-colored maps of our nineteen United States, each one paired with a geometrically-constructed and embellished prose passage selected from the geography books available to a schoolgirl in the new American republic.

Henshaw’s maps and texts alike are interpretive re-presentations of the body of geodetic and descriptive literature from which she read geography. Formally, many of the textual passages that accompany her maps are designed within a framework of aesthetically-inflected cardinal coordinates, representing (either conceptually or in their spatial contours) the states they describe, and positioning political and natural boundaries in cartographically appropriate margins of the page.

The book, clearly treasured, travelled west with Henshaw to Illinois, and later to Missouri, after her marriage to the clergyman and historian Truman Marcellus Post in 1835. It is dated “April 29, 1823,” and bears an 1872 inscription to their eldest son, T. A. Post.

Creator

Frances Alsop Henshaw

Source

Library of David Rumsey, Pub List No. 2501.000

Date

April 29, 1823

Rights

Document Item Type Metadata

Text

Frances A. Henshaw's

Book

of

Penmanship

EXECUTED

at the

Middlebury

Female Academy

April 29, 1823

presented to her son T. A. Post --

Feb 4th 1872

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Collection

Tags

Citation

Frances Alsop Henshaw, “Title Page,” Inventing the Map (with Neatline), accessed March 25, 2017, http://henshaw.neatline.org/items/show/43.